2017-2018 National Legislative Ambassador
Support Those Who Support Our Veterans!
The Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations Bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump last month funds the Department of Defense—including operations, readiness activities, and health and quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families. Totaling $654.6 billion, it is the largest investment in support of the DoD in fifteen years. This bill will help rebuild America’s depleted Armed Forces, caused by the harmful effects of sequestration over the past seven years. In addition, the bill contains $34 billion for defense health programs to provide care for our troops, military families and retirees. Specifically, the bill provides $359 million for cancer research, $125 million for traumatic brain injury and psychological health research, and $287 million for sexual assault prevention and response.
However, it failed to fund the following three very important VA program improvements that the VFW has recommended to help our veterans and their families:
- Consolidating and reforming VA’s community care programs.
- Expanding family caregiver support to pre-9/11 veterans.
- Aligning VA’s infrastructure to its main mission of delivering quality care to veterans.
Significant progress has been made. However, our work is not done. Our voices must be heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill. In addition, we must continue our legislative efforts to ensure that DoD and VA programs are fully appropriated and funded for Fiscal Year 2019. The national security of our nation and the ability to provide the promised support for our service members, veterans and their families is at stake.
While the VFW and its Auxiliary do not endorse political candidates, we are encouraged to support those individuals running for office who support veterans and our legislative efforts. Therefore, it is important for us, as citizens, veterans and voters to study the issues and be aware of the positions of those campaigning for public office, so we may cast an informed vote at election time. Most importantly, don’t forget to vote on Election Day and encourage everyone to do the same.
Please click HERE to see the information on state primary election dates, primary runoff dates (if applicable), etc.
Following are some helpful hints that we can use to assist our Auxiliary members, family members and friends in our communities on how to get involved and actively participate in the legislative process:
- Sign-up online for the VFW Action Corps Weekly
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please indicate that you are a “VFW Auxiliary Member” when you sign-up. Doing so will help our VFW Washington Office track how many Auxiliary Members are actively advocating for our veterans and their families.
- Use the “How to Guide to Getting Involved in the Election Process” Brochure
- Use the “VFW Auxiliary Involvement in Elections and Political Activities“ Guide
Remember – “ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL!” We need to continue to let our elected officials hear “loud and clear” our demands to preserve benefits and support our veterans, active-duty military and their families.
Let your voice be heard and make a difference!